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Song Chi-Hyung Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

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The net worth of Song Chi-Hyung is estimated to be around $950 million in 2023. The millionaire made his wealth from the success of Dunamu and its cryptocurrency exchange, Upbit. In South Korea and the larger part of Southeast Asia, Upbit has gained a high level of prominence that has fetched the tech expert a lot of wealth.

Song Chi-Hyung

The net worth of Song Chi-Hyung earned him a place on Forbes’ 2023 50 Richest South Koreans. The Chairman of Dunamu is enjoying noticeable attention in the crypto and blockchain sphere today due to his decision to pick up a role at a software firm rather than furthering his education. This decision proved pivotal to the interest of Song Chi-Hyung in tech and eventually the establishment of Dunamu. 

Song Chi-Hyung’s Net Worth Since 2019

Year Net Worth
2019 $650 million
2020 $700 million
2021 $1.2 billion
2022 $3.7 billion
2023 $950 million

Early Life

Song Chi-Hyung was born in 1979 in Gongju, South Korea. He grew up in Gonju where he spent most of his childhood. He attended Choongnam Science High School, Gonj. Hyung didn’t leave his hometown until he graduated. After his graduation, he proceeded to Seoul National University in 1998. There, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in Computer Engineering and taking Economics as a minor in 2006.

He intended to proceed with his academic journey by pursuing an MBA. However, he lost interest in this pursuit due to the emergence of a prosperous tech ecosystem in the country then. This propelled him to pick up a role with a software development company called Danal.

Meanwhile, Son Chi-Hyung was supposed to proceed to the military to observe a mandatory two (2) years of service after his university education. However, he chose to apply at Danal for a three (3) years stint with the organization. Consequently, his application was successful and he worked on developing mobile payment systems for the establishment.

While at Danal, illegal mobile payment platforms were rampant in the country. The growing number of the platforms then attracted huge attention from top government officials of the country. However, Song Chi-Hyung designed an initiative that helped curb illegal payment patterns. He patented the idea for use in South Korea and China.

Prior to that period, Chi-Hyung never contemplated working on IT systems development. His stint at Danal made him enjoy the profession and gave him enough experience to excel. At the end of his stint with Danal, Chi-Hyung joined a consulting firm known as Inomove in 2011. While at the firm, he worked on the development of IT-related projects and found new revenue models for businesses.

Dunami

In April 2012,  Song Chi-Hyung founded an E-book platform, Dunamu. However, the platform didn’t provide enough returns as he expected. He then quit the project and established another firm six months later. Nevertheless, Dunamu still existed as a holding company. Meanwhile, he named the new establishment NewsMate. The firm operates as a news aggregation service that collects popular news articles from social media. Again, the software expert came under huge pressure to shut down the business owing to the increasing competition among organizations that offer similar services. 

Eventually, he shut down NewsMate and was on the lookout for a new business. After various consultations and many months of preparation, he eventually launched Stockplus, a stock market data aggregator under Dunamu. In 2013, the firm received financial backing from K-view Ventures which is now known as Kakao Ventures. Also in 2015, Dunamu raised $1.5 million from a Series A funding round led by Qualcomm Ventures and Woori Technology Investment. In the same year, the firm also raised another $3.5 million from a series B funding round led by Kakao Corp and 3 other investors. 

Remarkably, Dunamu began to grow in strength and enjoyed more financial stability. In October 2017, it established Upbit, a cryptocurrency exchange. The establishment of Upbit surfaced as a result of Dunamu’s change in business direction to Fintech. To actualize the pursuit of setting up a crypto exchange, Dunamu collaborated with US-based Bittrex. The collaboration provided Upbit with the needed technical assistance to provide crypto custodial services.

Meanwhile, in January 2018, Song Chi-Hyung was promoted to the position of the Chairman of Dunamu. Despite the promotion, Chi-Hyung still served as the CEO of the organization. He managed to function in both positions for the organization. After he became the Chairman, Hyung oversaw the establishment of Dunamu and Partners, a subsidiary that specializes in investment. 

In May 2019, Dunamu launched Luniverse, a blockchain service platform designed to help companies start businesses. According to reports, the project was supervised by blockchain technology research lab, Lambda256. As reported, the platform has a high level of security and an automated scaling function that can adjust blockchain sizes in accordance with the amount of data stored on it.

During the year, Dunamu announced plans to launch a comprehensive over-the-counter trading platform that deals with various types of unlisted stocks. The solution was made available in the form of an app with the support of local brokerage Samsung Securities and big data analytics company Deep Search.

The same year, the firm focused on advancing its services. After unveiling various services, it rounded up 2019 by unveiling an application in South Korea for trading unlisted securities. Then, reports indicated that the project was aimed at reducing the cost of over-the-counter (OTC) stocks. Dunami intended to arrest the situation by improving security and contact information imbalances between buyers and sellers. After introducing various projects in 2019, Dunamu sought more funds to support other initiatives in 2019

Due to that, the firm raised $7 million from a funding round led by DSC Investment. It also raised another  $48 million through a funding round led by Hanwha Investment Security. Across various funding rounds, the firm raised more than $80 million in total to help push its investment activities. Around 2021, Song Chi-Hyung stepped down as the CEO of the organization and was succeeded by Lee Sirgoo, another Seoul National University graduate. 

Meanwhile, at the height of the LUNA and UST collapse in May 2022, Dunamu disclosed how it invested and acquired 20 million Luna on April 20, 2018. According to the firm, it sold at 20% lower than the market price on February 19, 2021, making a profit of about $34 million. However, the collapse of LUNA and UST could not deter the firm’s progress. The same year, it announced its intention to allocate about $380 million to create 10,000 new jobs, and cultivate 500 start-ups. 

Upbit

As a result of a collaboration with American cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex and financial backing from Kakao Corp, Upbit launched in South Korea on October 24, 2017. The launching of the cryptocurrency exchange proved to be a success due to the exceptional foresight of Song Chi-Hyung. The cryptocurrency exchange enjoyed massive attention upon its launching. Barely a few months after its launch, the crypto exchange became the top global cryptocurrency exchange in terms of 24-hour trading volume.

The smooth ride came to an end on May 10, 2018. Then, security operatives raided the main office of Upbit as part of a fraud probe. Similarly, on December 21, 2018, three Upbit officials were indicted for allegedly making fake orders. However, the crypto exchange denied the allegations. Despite the setback, the crypto exchange focused on advancing its services. During the year, it expanded into Southeast Asia. Upbit ventured into the Singaporean virtual assets market before moving to Indonesia in January 2019 and eventually Thailand in January 2021.

In December 2018, Upbit became the first cryptocurrency exchange in the world to receive certifications from the Korea Internet and Security Agency for Information Security Management System (ISMS) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for information security (ISO 27001), cloud security (ISO 27017) and cloud privacy (ISO 27018). The growth of the crypto exchange was halted by a cyber attack in 2019. It lost about $48.5 million worth of Ethereum to the attack.

Around September 2021, South Korea started to regulate virtual asset service providers. Around 2022, the Joint Financial and Securities Crime Investigation Team of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office raided the office of Upbit. This came in reaction to the collapse of LUNA and UST which left South Korean investors stranded. Meanwhile, the security operatives also raided offices of firms like Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Gopax as well as other businesses connected to the collapse of Terra. In 2023, Upbit placed an investment warning against the Waves token, urging users to trade carefully. 

Is Song Chi-Hyung Pro Crypto?

We can confirm that Song Chi-Hyung is one of the eminent pioneers of the crypto industry. According to findings, Hyung’s professional career as an information technology expert aided his exposure and entry into the world of digital assets. Although he might not be as vocal as other notable crypto proponents, his efforts toward the development of the young industry cannot be overestimated. His belief is that cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, blockchain are the greatest innovations that have ever greeted the finance sector.

Following his exposure to the crypto sphere, Hyung began to think about how he could aid widespread access to the innovations. He has no doubt in the capability of crypto to empower the unbanked and integrate them into the global financial arena. More so, the IT expert sees blockchain as the best solution to the various issues ravaging the cybersecurity space.

His desire to aid access to crypto products propelled him to launch Upbit in South Korea around 2017. It is worth establishing that the launch was made possible through the support of an American exchange, Bittrex. Today, Upbit is one of the largest crypto firms across the globe, providing reliable, fast, and secure enablement for people to trade cryptocurrencies at a low cost.

Apart from aiding crypto access with Upbit, Song Chi-Hyung has also been promoting and aiding awareness about blockchain innovations with the exchange. Since its establishment, Upbit usually organizes a yearly conference to discuss new trends in the real-world application of this technology. It is worth establishing that the conference is usually graced by experts and optimists of the young crypto industry.

Since its inception, the likes of Ned Scott, Li Jun, Jason Goldberg, Bill Shihara, and many others have graced the yearly event as keynote speakers. Similarly, Hyung, as a renowned expert in the field, usually leverages the event to convey his perspectives on various hot topics in the industry, including scalability, stablecoin, security, smart contracts, cloud computing, peer-to-peer blockchain services, decentralized apps, token technology, and many more.

As one of the keynote speakers in 2018, the Dunamu chairman called on developers to take the leading role in ensuring the real-world application of blockchain. He predicted that cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges will enable blockchain to record mainstream adoption in the next couple of years. He said; “Just like how Netscape laid the foundation for internet to become mainstream, cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges will lead the popularization of blockchain technology. I believe it will happen in the next two to three years.”

A few years after, Hyung’s projection about the blockchain market began to manifest. Today, the use cases of blockchain technology have gone beyond the crypto sphere. Organizations across various sectors are now leveraging blockchain to efficiently manage distributed databases, digital transactions, cybersecurity, and many more. As a matter of fact, even traditional banks now use the tech to make their operations secure, faster, and consistent. As of late 2022, the overall value of the blockchain market is around $10 billion and has been tipped to attain $20 billion by 2026.

Hyung’s contribution to this feat is remarkable. Within the past few years, he leveraged his firm to invest more than $89 million in blockchain development. The investment was used to empower and acquire struggling blockchain startups. Also, Dunamu runs a secure ecosystem that helps onboard new startups to blockchain architecture.

Meanwhile, despite recording over $1 trillion in total volume as of 2023, Hyung believes the crypto market is still fairly immature. Justifying his claim, the Dunamu chairman said; “the prices of different coins tend to move in a similar direction, unlike the stock market with different prices by industries and companies. The market will become more mature when more coins become less correlated to each other, and ready for wider adoption.”

Hyung usually emphasizes his commitment to ensuring that Upbit complies with the regulatory framework obtainable in its local environment. While speaking at one of the firm’s conferences, he disclosed that Upbit will “become a regulation compliant exchange, by providing enhanced wallets and increased speed of transactions, as well as adopt high-level anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer measures on par with financial institutions.” He added that the exchange will also continue to upgrade its coin listing and trading process, and conduct voice phishing and ICO scam prevention campaigns.

Despite the various assurances by Hyung, Upbit is now facing fraud allegations from South Korea’s prosecutors. As a matter of fact, his name was mentioned in the lawsuit. In the filing, it was alleged that Hyung and a few other executives of Upbit initiated fraudulent transactions through a fake corporate account in 2017. Through the account, the indicted execs allegedly made bogus orders worth over $226 billion to spike the trading volume of Upbit in a bid to attract more customers. Also, Hyung and his team were accused of selling 11,550 BTC in a rigged transaction, thereby amassing $133 million.

Around 2018, the prosecutors stormed the head office of the exchange situated in the Gangnam-gu district. They reportedly seized the hard disks and accounting books belonging to the exchange in a bid to aid the probe. However, Upbit was quick to deny the allegation. In a statement, the company said; “The company provided liquidity to the Company’s corporate account in order to stabilize the trading market at the beginning of the service opening. This period is from September 24, 2017 to December 11, 2017.”

Upbit added that the corporate account had no withdrawal feature. Although the exchange admitted that it conducted some transactions for marketing purposes, it insisted that the endeavor did impact the market.

The exchange was also a subject of scrutiny in 2023. This was after a politician, Kim Nam-kuk transferred 800,000 Wemix tokens allegedly purchased illegally to Upbit. Authorities in the country, again, stormed the headquarters of the exchange in a bid to unravel the case. Meanwhile, Upbit was not the only firm that was raided in the operation. Bithumb’s office was also raided because the indicted politician did the assets transfer to Upbit from the exchange.

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Song Chi-Hyung

Song Chi-Hyung is one of those prominent people who built their net worth through early investment in crypto assets. According to numerous sources, the overall value of his crypto portfolio is worth $200 to $350 million as of 2023. Around 2018, Forbes, in its estimates, said the crypto net worth of Song Chi-Hyung was close to $500 million. It is not surprising that the figure has dropped within the past few years due to the downturn ravaging the crypto market. However, the market crisis could not displace Hyung from the list of prosperous holders of crypto assets.

According to findings, the Dunamu chairman holds Bitcoin, Ethereum and some few aitcoins in his personal wallet. His investment in Bitcoin, regarded as the leader of all crypto assets, could be traced to around 2012. Just like other prominent Bitcoin investors, Hyung made his investment at a time the crypto was very unpopular.

Although he chose to conceal the information from the public domain, sources claim his investment in Bitcoin at that time was worth millions of dollars. This thus explains why the massive surge in the value of the token soared the net worth of Song Chi-Hyung. At the peak of the market, he was worth over $3.5 billion due to the outstanding performance of his crypto exchange and personal holdings.

However, the recent downturn in the market affected the net worth of numerous crypto billionaires, including Song Chi-Hyung. According to Forbes, the plummet displaced the Dunamu chairman from the list of crypto billionaires. This is because his net worth fell from $3.5 billion to $950 million as of 2023. But, he still keeps his place as one of the richest crypto tycoons.

Although Hyung is yet to confirm whether he holds NFTs or not, his firm, Upbit is already exploring the market. Around 2021, the exchange indulged in a strategic collaboration with Hybe to develop and trade NFT photo cards on Weverse. It is worth mentioning that Weverse is a global fan-to-artist communication platform of Hybe. In a briefing, it was said that the innovation will entail moving images, voices of artists, and many more. Hyung, in his remark, said fans will be able to trade their digital photo cards in virtual spaces.

Crypto Projects Featuring Song Chi-Hyung

We can link Upbit, a crypto exchange that is operated by Dunamu to Song Chi-Hyung. Barely a few months after its launch, it emerged as one of the leading crypto firms in terms of trading volume. Although Upbit has been embroiled in numerous issues with South Korea’s prosecutors as of late, it still keeps its place as the largest exchange in the country.

Meanwhile, if Hyung sustains his engagement in the industry, he might as well be featured on Wall Street Memes. This project has gained widespread acceptance on social media through its amusing memes about developments in the crypto space. On several occasions, it usually features “top guns” in the industry like Changpeng Zhao, Sam Bankman-Fried, and many others to spice the memes.

Occasioned by its superb social media engagement, Wall Street Memes is now securing the attention of some of the celebrities it features. Just recently, Tesla boss, Elon Musk noticed one of the memes and reacted to it. Musk’s interaction with the Wall Street Memes community validates the growing influence of the project.

In June, the meme project deepened its presence in the space by launching the presale of its native crypto, $WSM. Due to its widespread community reach and connection with WallStreetBets, the token is now making waves among investors. So far, its token sales have recorded over $15 million in investment, making it one of the largest crypto presales of the year.

Driven by the reach of the community backing the project, it has been tipped to become the next cryptocurrency to soar. If you are also willing to tap into this opportunity, visit wallstmemes.com.

Song Chi-Hyung’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

Song Chi-Hyung has already made his mark in the crypto and blockchain industry. His contributions toward the development of blockchain have been outstanding. Today, he is chairman and co-founder of Dunamu, a firm that provides safe and transparent blockchain services. Through this firm, Hyung has ensured the onboarding of several startups into blockchain. A few years ago, the firm unveiled $89 million to empower and acquire struggling blockchain-based projects.

Without any doubt, the success of Upbit and its parental firm, Dunamu has contributed massively to the net worth of Song Chi-Hyung. Similarly, he also made huge dividends from his personal crypto investment. Therefore, we can affirm that Hyung’s wealth is a product of his personal investment in crypto assets and Dunamu.

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FAQs

When was Upbit founded?

Upbit was founded in 2017 to offer crypto services to traders.

Why did Song Chi-Hyung shut down NewsMate?

Song Chi-Hyung shut down NewsMate owing to the increasing competition from firms that offer similar services at that time.

What is the current net worth of Song Chi-Hyung?

According to estimates, the current net worth of Song Chi-Hyung is around $950 million.